There are several ways to lay out a little garden; the best way is to get a gardener.
Karel Čapek, Сzech writer.
It seems due to numerous videos, interviews and articles that everyone already knows why startups fail, but startups continue failing.
Most startup CEOs think they don't have enough money to succeed. But the first paradox that destroys a business is that when money comes to a startup, the company faces serious problems. Understanding that “a lot of money is not a lot of money” actually comes with experience and often at a high price.
The second paradox that often destroys not only start-ups, but also functioning businesses - quickly and eye-catchingly or in a long term and gradually - is the excessive efforts of management and owners. Hypercontrol and the resulting self-confidence and the desire to do everything “with your own hands” are a direct manifestation of the excessive involvement of the heads of the company in non-target processes.
The task of founders and CEOs is to remain the locomotive of the business, the custodians of the idea and the main fans of the company, who believe in it almost unconditionally and motivate the team. But someone has to have time to lay the rails for the movement of this locomotive, attach additional cars to the train and remove the worn ones.
Does this affect the business - yes, should the CEO do this all - no.
says Vladislav Kostik,
CEO of The Arbridge consulting company.
At The Arbridge we believe that the most important quality for a manager is to be able to use existing expertise and focus on tasks that ensure business growth and development. The CEO may really be qualified enough to cover many managerial functions in the company. But any entrepreneur must understand that each resource must be used as efficiently as possible.
Assign and delegate tasks that are not related to the strategic goals of the business, but ensure its stable development and scalability, to employees or an outsourced third party. And don't hesitate to ask for advice. By asking questions, you will receive not only answers, warnings and recommendations, but also consolidated knowledge and experience in the target and related areas in the express course format.
Danil Tonkopiy, CEO and co-founder of one of the most high-profile Ukrainian startups Delfast, shared his view on the modern business management process and cooperation with The Arbridge consulting company:
Every success is the result of many trials and errors. My entrepreneurial experience includes 15 startups, where behind every successful project there were five unsuccessful ones. I learned many important lessons for myself on how to effectively manage a startup and what not to do to avoid new failures.
The main thing in any project is the people behind it. None of the most promising ideas or promising products can be brought to life without a strong team. Therefore, as a CEO, it is important for me to rally talented professionals who are united by common goals, ideas and values around me.
But putting together such a team is only a part of the success. Establishing processes within the company, coordinating each team member in the right direction, identifying responsibilities and interaction with other departments and employees are equally important. After all, how can you achieve a joint goal if a person is doing someone else's work or does not know where to request help?
As a startup develops, so does its team. Without established business processes inside, it runs the risk of escalating into chaos. And before being able to put things in order, companies take hard knocks and make similar mistakes. This, of course, is an invaluable experience, but is it worth wasting your time and resources trying to fix everything yourself? My experience has taught me that in some matters it is better to turn to someone who understands an issue better. Therefore, we entrusted the implementation of the process approach to a consulting agency. We also outsource specialists when it is faster and more convenient than learning in-house.
Each founder wants to control all the processes taking place in his own company. But a good founder is ready to delegate tasks to professionals and not micromanage. Psychologically, this can be more difficult than doing everything yourself. But if you take on all the processes and operational routine, then when will you earn money and develop a startup?
The essence of the CEO's job is to deal with strategic tasks: attracting investments, generating long-term profits, responding to market changes, and much more. These are all the activities that have helped our company grow since 2014. At that time, our first product was an eco-friendly up-to-1-hour delivery service, which had no compatibles on the market. Then we started producing electric bikes ourselves, because the existing products didn't meet our needs. And so we created a bike with the highest mileage in the world. Following market trends, we have also adjusted our strategy - changing the model range, target markets, now we are shifting the focus to dealers and much more. Record sales growth and company valuation confirm that we are heading in the right direction.
The work on attracting investments helped us raise $3.4 million for the construction of R&D in Ukraine. Having achieved this goal, we will also improve a number of business processes: we will speed up delivery times, increase production capacity to fulfill large orders, and improve product quality.
All these strategic steps help us move forward and become better every day. And what would happen if the entire management plunged into operational work?
Any success is always teamwork, where everyone does what he is strong in - no matter within the company or outsourced. The startup journey is always full of mistakes, but many can be avoided by entrusting the matter to professionals, rather than trying to solve everything alone.